Greg Kinnear Learns His Little Ladies’ Language

04/01/2010 at 03:00 PM ET

Coming from a brood of boys, Greg Kinnear can rough and tumble with the best of them.

However, when life with wife Helen Labdon dished out daughters, the actor found himself trading it all in for tea parties.

“My grandfather had two boys, my uncle had three boys, my dad had me and my two brothers, each of my brothers have had two boys,” he told David Letterman on The Late Show last week.

“Then something happened with the chromosomal experiment and suddenly I’ve got three girls!”

As a result, Kinnear has been forced to learn a whole new language when it comes to sibling squabbles among Lily Katherine, 6 ½, Audrey Mae, 3 ½, and Kate, 6 months, lovingly referred to as ‘Katie Crunch Bomb’ by her sisters.

“All the tools I have are things like, ‘If your brother punches you, you punch him back harder,'” he jokes. “I have no skills [to say], ‘That’s a lovely gown honey, look at you!'”

And despite being “so ill-prepared” for his group of girls, Kinnear — and his wallet! —  are catching on.

“Let me tell you something, you figure it out real quick. They say, ‘Well, you’ll pay for it later and as far as I can tell, I’m paying for it out the arse right now!” he laughs. “It’s expensive and there’s no stimulus package for dads with daughters.”

Kate & Helen – Courtesy Greg Kinnear

However, the “cute little cliché” is still relevant according to The Last Song star.

Quick to point out that while Letterman will be relaxing once son Harry is grown, Kinnear, 46, jokes that he’ll be stationed on the front porch.

“I do have a shotgun so there will come a time where you’ll be hanging out and having a good time. The son is fine, but [I’ll be dealing with] the daughter thing.”

Even so, despite life’s unexpected surprise, Kinnear is happy with his lovely ladies — and insists he’s not pining for a son.

“Coming from boys I feel very lucky having them,” he confesses. “They’re really great.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Babies , News , Parenting

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skyler on

I love his daughter’s names. My favorite is lily Katherine.

dfs on

Why would they name one daughter Kate if the other daughter’s middle name is Katherine?

Luna on

Aw, how totally adorable that baby is.

Brooke on

I have had the privilege of meeting Greg Kinnear in person and he is completely down to earth and does not have one iota of self-importance about him. Just a really nice guy. I am happy for he and Helen.

Mia on

Aw, that baby is so round and chubby and cute! I love his daughters names. Very classy, pretty, and elegant.

kelsey on

I liked this article! And that knick name is too cute! How sweet to have three little girls!

Laura on

Well why not dfs? When you first have a baby you have NO clue if you will be having more especially of the same gender. Maybe they LOVED the name Kate (Katherine) and wanted to use it on what could be their only baby girl. Then they had a third and were like “We still LOVE the name Kate so why don’t we use it as a first name this time?” I see no problem with it. It’s not like they gave the kids the same first name which I think is a little silly but that is my own opinion!

KC on

@dfs: I don’t think it’s that weird to do that. I had a friend growing up who’s first name was the same as her 2 older sister’s middle name. It just shows that they obviously like that name 🙂

Jane on

Much as I love Greg, articles like this annoy me a bit. Why do people bring their boys and girls up differently? Decades of womens freedom seemed to be going backwards now.

Abby on

oy, Jane, don’t. as a happy feminist, I see nothing wrong with the article or his own words. so he’s protective of and loves his daughters, that’s not feminism going backwards. feminism going backwards is if he was trying to marry each of them off against their will.

meghan on

I don’t see anything sexist about a loving and protective daddy. Truthfully, I would kill for one. I have older brothers who are protective of me because I’m the baby and the only sister and I love it. It can be annoying, but mostly, it makes me feel special.

On another note, I want to gobble Kate right up! What a precious ball of dough!

Erika on

I love it when men have 2+ little girls and talk about them like this. It is just so sweet. Jane, I don’t think there is anything odd when they talk about girls differently, there is just a special bond between a father and daughter and there always has been.

ctl on

I appreciate that he acknowledges that there is a good amount of consumerism involved with having daughters. Everyone I know who gets pregnant yearns to have a girl (most definitely not a boy, with rare exceptions), and if you ask the reason why, it’s usually “because there are so many cute clothes to buy!!” When I see the obscene amounts of clothes that people buy for girls, from the newborn stage and onward, it seems sad… Lots of it never gets worn more than once.

Before everyone who has a daughter gets defensive and pulls out examples of anecdotal evidence (e.g. I know a boy who has LOTS of trains and trucks), let me clear that I am just making a broad generalization. Next time you visit a children’s clothing store, compare the number of products available for girls vs. that for boys — it’s almost always twice the volume.

CelebBabyLover on

Laura- I agree! My paternal grandfather’s middle name was actually the same as one of his brother’s first names, and I’ve never found that to be odd! 🙂

dfs on

Men and women should have equal rights, but that doesn’t mean they’re not different from each other. Raising girls, in general, is very different from raising boys, and there’s nothing sexist about admitting that.

ecl on

Actually, the discussion of sitting on the porch with a shotgun is sexist. It implies that women’s chastity needs protection by their father. Would he do the same for a son? No. In fact, he might even tell a son to go for it with the ladies. As for the consumerism around girls, I agree. We are starting them off early so that they can be good little shoppers when they get older. That said, it turns out there is lots of cute stuff for boys, too, and lots of cute gender neutral clothing.

bre on

I think Greg is a comedian and was just being funny.

With that said, as someone with three brothers (one is my twin) who all got to start dating as freshman in highschool while I had to wait until I was a junior, I can tell you it was not cute and sweet but grossly unfair. Unfortunately the whole “boys will be boys” nonsense will never go away b/c women will always be complicit in it too.

Emma on

As someone who has both a boy and a girl, I can tell you that they are inherently different. Without any direction from me or my husband, our son naturally gravitated to trains, cars, etc. Yes, he plays with dolls, strollers, and other stereotypically “girly” toys, but his favorites are his trains. My daughter loves to brush her hair, put on jewelry, hairbows, etc. She also likes her brother trains and cars, but prefers her baby dolls. We did not encourage this in either of them, it’s just what they prefer. So I don’t think his comments are sexist. Women are naturally different than men-that’s not sexist, it’s science.

Sophia on

I love hearing interviews with doting daddies of girls 🙂 Reminds me of my own dad, seeing as I am one of three girls.